This film will leave you shaking, ‘Bones and All’

Gabriella Rouas

While watching “Bones and All,” a new film directed by Luca Guadagnino, the actual, horrifying meaning of the movie’s title becomes apparent. The sound of a human finger being crunched clean off within five minutes of the opening scene prepared me for a gory, bloody film that I would watch with my hands over my eyes. Trailers and clips online had prepared me for a terrifying movie with romance as a side note. Instead, “Bones and All” is a powerful love story portrayed by Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet and delivers a tear jerking, symbolistic narrative worthy of a second watch. The chronicle of a first love pushes all the gore aside and entraps the audience in the mind and souls of the two lovers.

Memorizing each other’s faces, Lee and Yearly’s connection grows as they discuss the future. (Photo courtesy of IMDb)

“Bones and All” explores the concept behind cannibalism as “feeders” with no choice in eating humans. The trait has been passed down genetically through generations, and even if “feeders” don’t want to eat people, they feel the physical desire to do so. They differ from cannibals we think of today, who find sick pleasure in eating other humans. Instead, the guilt over their condition consumes them. “Bones and All” follows 18-year-old Maren Yearly (Russell) in her struggle to find her birth mother. Yearly grapples to understand her urge to feed on humans and embarks on a journey to find the answer when her father leaves her. While on the road, Yearly meets fellow “feeder” Lee, (Chalamet), and the two connect over their broken homes and develop an unbreakable bond. In some sense, this movie is a coming of age film. Two broken souls come together to travel across the country, learning about each other and themselves. 

Russell’s portrayal of Yearly is shockingly eerie. She perfectly embodies the identity of a teenage girl struggling with a secret. Russell has a mesmerizing ability to portray her inner thoughts and emotions on screen simply with her face; no dialogue is needed to understand her intensity and passion. It would be hard to imagine anyone but Russell portraying Yearly, and her acting in this role should be critically acclaimed.

All I think is I love you

— Maren Yearly (Russell)

Chalamet also perfectly embodies and executes any character he portrays, so his stunning representation of Lee is no surprise. His acting forte is an angst-filled teenager, which is exactly the character of sarcastic, yet tortured Lee. 

The stunning visual aspect of this film ties together the exemplary acting and script. Within practically every gory scene, there are terrifying but greatly impactful stills of the aftermath. The cinematography of the landscape brings to life the road trip aspect of the movie. A perfect shot of Yearly and Lee looking out across the landscape is used twice, and has a similar emotion and visual to Elizabeth Bennet’s cliff scene in “Pride and Prejudice.”

Surrounded by a picturesque landscape, Lee (Chalamet) and Yearly (Russell) come to a crossroads in their relationship. (Photo courtesy of IMDb)

Costume designer Guilia Piersanti dressed the characters in authentic fashion that mirrors their unique situations. Yearly is sporting the same white tank top throughout the entire movie. At the start of the film, it is slightly tiresome, but realistically portrays a young girl who left home with nothing but the clothes on her back. All of the choices are intentionally made to portray the desperation that the characters feel. A main focus of this movie is blood, as it is the by-product of the hungry characters. The use of blood in this film creates impactful shots, especially when a character is completely drenched in it. The combination of the simplistic setting and costume choices combined with the graphic aspect of the movie creates fascinating and diverse cinematography.

The last few minutes of this film left me completely breathless and heartbroken in an ending that I could have never expected nor predicted. The powerful acting, jaw dropping visuals and fantastic directing left me desperate to see this film again.

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